The prospect of rapid home delivery became more apparent with the construction of a building in 14 days flat by EchoStone Nigeria Limited, in partnership with the Lagos State government.
The only other company that has achieved this feat is Royal Sanderton that applies revolutionary their Royal Building System, and now EchoStone Nigeria Limited has proven that they could do rapid construction of homes to close the nation’s housing gap.
A demonstration home built by EchoStone on the premises of the Lagos State Vocational Education Centre at Agidingbi in Ikeja, Lagos was inaugurated by the Lagos State Commissioner for Housing, Gbolahan Lawal, during the week.
Lawal said, “Echostone represents technology at its best,” saying their achieving construction time of 14 days was proof that technology fast-racks development.
“It is satisfying to note that a 64-square meter house can be completed from scratch in just 14 days. Echostone is fired up to do more because of the response they have received from government. They have the funding and technological know-how to help us greatly in tackling the deficit in the state.”
The commissioner assured Echostone that the capital investment it brought into the state would yield good return-on-investment, and that the state government was already in talks with the developer to work out a modality of deploying the same technology to assist the state in building compact storey buildings, as this was the way to go to really accommodate Lagosians.
He said, “We want to build compact storey buildings. We are in discussion with echostone and they have assured us that it is doable.”
Chief Executive Officer and co-Founder, Echostone, Anthony Rechhia said the delivery of the building in 14 days and handing over of the keys to the commissioner was a feat that many thought would be impossible. “So, we have made the impossible possible in just 14 days,” he said.
EchoStone Co-Founder and President, Business Development, Mr. Ander Lindquist, remarked that for the firm, it was a promise kept, saying they looked forward to building more houses in the state and the country at large.
Also, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), Mr. Kehinde Ogundimu said the company was set to remove barriers to home ownership, and provide liquidity for the purpose of achieving the goal.
NMRC, Ogundimu said was determined to make affordable accommodation a reality, particularly in Lagos where the demand acutely falls below supply.
“Beyond engaging EchoStone, efforts by the Lagos government and the Ibile Holdings and Lagos Homes Developers, through Public Private Participation (PPP), the involvement of NMRC to ensure that mortgage will be made available for those who needed it to buy houses will be fully supported,” Ogundimu said, adding that EchoStone technology was a much needed solution to the housing deficit in Lagos state in particular, and Nigeria as a whole. These problems, he noted “will never be solved if we continue to build in the traditional way of one block at a time.”
The Managing Director, Families Home Fund, Mr. Femi Adewole, declared that the body would engage Messrs EchoStone Nigeria, in the provision of 100,000 housing units in four years for Lagos residents, with the memorandum already in the pipeline.
“We have a product known as Home Loans Assistance, put in place by the federal government’s social intervention to assist the Nigerian people in getting decent, but affordable accommodation.
“Besides the provision of housing, the scheme will create huge employment opportunities for the Nigerian youths. This, we will do in conjunction with the Lagos state government, which has shown an enormous goodwill that attracts the attention of foreign firms such as EchoStone America,” he stated.
Speaking on the completed prototype, an official of EchoStone Nigeria, Mr. Sammy Adigun assured that his firm would meet the housing needs of Lagos residents, with the support of all the relevant stakeholders, without compromising quality.
While congratulating the firm for identifying the need for improvement in the building sector and for taking this bold step, the Operations Officer, Green Building Lead, Accra, Ghana, of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Mr. Dennis Quansah, said Nigeria’s future depends on how it is built today.
He said the building, which is exactly what Echostone will build in the Peridot Parkland Estate, Idale, Badagry is built green per the standards of IFC’s Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) certification.
“The Peridot Parkland Estate has been designed to achieve the following impressive EDGE ratings; 29 percent Energy Savings; 35 percent water savings; 43 percent less Embodied Energy in materials. The savings will ensure that the utility bills for these housing units will be minimised and contribute to a reduction in harmful greenhouse gas emissions,” Quansah said.
He revealed that green buildings are not only a challenge that all must overcome together, because IFC believes there are available solutions it can provide to policy makers. Together, he said, IFC and policy makers can create an investment opportunity for developers, financial institutions, and home buyers or commercial buyers or renters.
Echostone, it will be recalled, announced a fortnight ago that it is deploying this innovative technology which allows for rapid and scalable construction, in the construction of a 250 units of two bedroom detached bungalows in Idale, Badagry LGA. The estate will be fitted with state-of-the-art facilities and comes at N9 million per unit. In all, it plans a construction of 2,000 housing units in three Local Government Areas (LGA) in the state- Ayobo in Alimosho LGA and Imota in Ikorodu LGA.